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Southeast College shares strategic plan

Reaching out to different demographics key to college’s plan.
Dr. Vicky Roy, Southeast College CEO (left) and Jody Holzmiller, vice-president Professional Training and Continuing Studies at Southeast College, fielded questions from the floor during a public meeting on the college's five-year strategic plan.

MOOSOMIN — The oft-quoted Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” In that vein, the Southeast College shared its five-year strategic plan with the Moosomin Chamber of Commerce at its latest meeting. 

Dr. Vicky Roy, Southeast College CEO, started her presentation with how a big part of the college’s plan is reaching out to different demographics.

“We are in this together,” she said. “Internally, we want to provide access to education to different demographics, if we’re talking about continuing studies, if we’re talking about corporate training, or adult basic education, or university programming, or diplomas programming.”

Another major focus is that of sustainability on several levels, with Roy posing the question of what opportunities would work in the area.

“I think the biggest priorities that we have as a region, and Moosomin, we need to figure out what we’re going to do here,” Roy said. “Something that will be sustainable. If we have a new program, the delivery of the programs, the mode of the program, how we’re going to do it, if we’re going to keep paying a big amount per month or year, then probably if we find a partnership to redirect that money and training. That; 's the type of questions we will ask ourselves.”

Roy stated the plan is only about six weeks old with those gathered at the Chamber meeting being the first to hear about it. She also pointed to some of the challenges faced by Southeast College, one being the fact that they are restricted by the programming offered.

“One of the things that you need to understand in Saskatchewan is the colleges are in the brokerage system,” she explained. “So we cannot develop our own programs, only continuing studies and corporate training, then they are not credited programs or more industry programs.”

One point the college has recognized—outlined as a priority in their presentation—is advanced strategic collaboration. Connections on various levels are important with the key goal of promoting not only student success but extending past graduation and into the economic sector.

“We really are limited in what programs we can develop ourselves outside of Con Ed, corporate safety training and those kind of things,” said Dean Loberg, Vice President Academic, Teaching and Learning. “So what programming is available to us? What innovative programming do the universities have? How can we change our universities’ offerings to allow students to stay in the region, but yet maybe a whole four-year degree in engineering, nursing, agribusiness, or something like that, within Moosomin? So really looking at what we offer, how we can allow students to stay in the region and get their full education.”

Timothy Spielman, Vice President of Finance and Administration with Southeast College, also spoke on the importance of collaboration, but also of strengthening community capability.

“We need to serve the needs of business,” he said. “If we’re not serving the needs of business, we’re not building capability. We have to take a very regional perspective on how we deliver the program in order to be sustainable. Understanding what the students want to do as well as what industry wants and matching the two of those together so we can help grow the capability or capacity in our region is really key.”

One question from the floor spoke directly to that expressed need for partnership and collaboration, citing previous attempts to work with Southeast College to provide training for nearby businesses like Nutrien and Väderstad.

Roy explained a simple lack of communication via staff turnover resulted in the message not being relayed.

“We need to work on the culture, and the communication is a big part of the culture,” Roy noted.

Southeast College operates six campuses based in Moosomin, Whitewood, Assiniboia, Estevan, Indian Head and Weyburn. They offer programs related to Industry and Safety Training, Adult Education and English as a Second Language training. Post-Secondary programming includes Business, Health, Trades and University-level. There are also Continuing Education courses and training available.

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